Thursday, 7 November 2013


It has taken me a while to write this post. Apparently I am not immune to the bugs over here and have been hit hard with a chest infection and a double bout of gastro. I am learning the the more effective treatment methods involve not only antibiotics but also lots and lots of TV. But also, it has taken me a while to think about how to write about this post.


As an Australian, living in North America, we have been incredibly excited about Halloween. I am aware that a lot of my readers are Australian, and I saw a lot of Australians Hate Halloween posts on FB and  I have been mulling over the term Hate, and what a horrible word that is, and the strong emotion it evokes. I understand that Halloween is not an Australian tradition, but Hate? I guess, for me, with things like that, I just ignore if I don't want to be involved. No one asks you to dress up, buy candy, carve a pumpkin. And if kids in your neighbourhood annoy you with the door knocking, go out for the night.

So, opening myself up for criticism, I am going to state it - we LOVED our Halloween experience. For the past month, as we walk to and from school, and around our neighbourhood, we have delighted in the appearance of scarecrows (to celebrate Harvest) and pumpkins, both carved and uncarved. Squeals of delight and frantically pointed fingers frequently explode from inside the chariot, as both The Eldest and The Youngest point out the pumpkins, the scarecrows and the houses decorated for Halloween.

Some houses were 'scarier' than others. Not to the point of nightmares for my kids, but enough for us to generate a conversation as we walked about what we saw, and what that made us feel and why we might have felt that way. I don't believe for one minute that seeing a witch hanging from a porch railing, or a skull decorating someone's lawn is going to turn my children into pagan devil worshippers. I do believe that it taught the youngest how to overcome a 'scary' situation and choose bravery and courage in facing her fear of touching a headless horseman. Her delighted 'I touched it! I'm not scared', warmed my soul. May she find the strength within her as she grows to continue to face her fears head on - even if it is holding someone else's hand while she does.

I didn't go mad with the 'commercialism' of the event. I bought a $2 ghost for my door, cut out some bats and printed off a sign.

Just like Christmas though, there are people who go all out to make the event special for the spectators.

And we are incredibly proud of our new found pumpkin carving skills and created what we consider the traditional Jack-O-lantern complete with electric candles.

See, in case you didn't know, there is Halloween etiquette. If you welcome trick or treaters to your house, you put a lit up pumpkin out, turn on your porch light and wait for the eager, dressed up youth of the neighbourhood to knock of your door and gleefully accept handfuls of treats.

No light, no pumpkin, no knock.

The Eldest and The Youngest, unfazed by the rainy weather, dressed in their princess dress (The Eldest) and Minnie Mouse dress (the Youngest) and their raincoats, danced along the sidewalk in the dark, excitedly looking out for the houses with the pumpkins and porch lights. Together, they knocked on doors or rang door bells, and with all the bravery their 2 and 4 year old selves could muster, sang out 'trick or treat' clearly to the host of the house, holding out their baskets, scoring a bundle of candy and confidence at each house we visited. It was magical.

So, we may be Australian, but we LOVE Halloween. And if you had seen the sparkle in my girls eyes this month, and the sound of my 2 year old saying trick or treat, you would fall in love with Halloween too.

Jen x

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